Produced in partnership with Thomas Evans of 3 Paper Buildings

The following Corporate Crime practice note produced in partnership with Thomas Evans of 3 Paper Buildings provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Perjury
  • Perjury in judicial proceedings
  • Lawfully sworn
  • Judicial proceedings
  • Wilful
  • Proof
  • Sentences for perjury
  • Other perjury offences
  • Perverting the course of justice


Perjury in judicial proceedings

The offence of perjury is triable only on indictment and carries a maximum penalty of seven years and/or a fine. The elements of the offence are:

  1. being a lawfully sworn witness or interpreter

  2. in judicial proceedings

  3. wilfully making a material statement which is false, and

  4. knowing that it is false or not believing it to be true

Aiding, abetting or inciting an offence of perjury contrary to section 1 of the Perjury Act 1911 (PeA 1911) is also an indictable offence subject to the same maximum penalty. If the principal offence is a lesser charge that is triable either way, the maximum sentence on indictment is two years imprisonment and/or a fine, or when tried summarily, six months imprisonment and/or a fine.

Lawfully sworn

The defendant must have been sworn in lawfully by a court or tribunal empowered to administer oaths. A person who is not a competent witness, but is sworn by mistake, cannot be indicted for perjury.

Judicial proceedings

Judicial proceedings include any court, tribunal or person having the statutory power to hear, receive and examine evidence on oath. The statement made in judicial proceedings can be made orally before the court or in writing in a sworn statement.

Evidence made via live TV link under the Criminal Justice Act 1988 (CJA 1988) provisions is also a statement made in proceedings for the purposes

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